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Growing trainers pool paves way for Jr. NBA expansion

Alaska assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso rushed back from the PBA Philippine Cup finals game in Lucena to help facilitate this year's Jr. NBA launch. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--Over the years, the Jr. NBA youth basketball program has grown in number of participants since it began in 2007.

For 2016, three provinces, Batangas, Cavite, and Catanduanes, will be having their first taste of Jr. NBA basketball.

According to NBA Philippines director Carlo Singson, the addition of the three locations in the calendar stemmed from the increased number of trainers brought about by a "Train the Trainers Program".

"What is new this year is [that] we created a 'Train the Trainers Program', so we have a lot of new coaches who are gonna go out to a lot of different cities around the Philippines to conduct Jr. NBA clinics," Singson said to some members of the press during the official start of the ninth edition of the Jr. NBA camp at the Don Bosco Technical Institute Gym on Saturday.

He added that the expansion of the trainers pool will be the start of alleviating the growing demand for Jr. NBA clinics.

"We get requests from people all over the Philippines asking us to bring Jr. NBA to their cities.... The Train the Trainers Program is a first step for us. A lot of [the new trainers] are provincial based, so they go back to their communities and run the Jr. NBA programs there. It allows us to have more reach. More kids will have access to the Jr. NBA program," Singson further explained the significance of the new coaching program.

On the other hand, he expressed excitement about going back to the basketball camp's "birthplace" to start the quest for the next basketball stars. 

"It is exciting. The last time we were here in Don Bosco was the first Jr. NBA event in 2007. It's a great venue for us," Singson described his experience back at the said school.

Don Bosco opened its doors to 1,068 young basketball players aged 5-16, a new Jr. NBA attendance record.

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